Kryziu Kalnas started out like any other old Lithuanian hill: green and hilly, not too creepy. But beginning around 1831, the mini-mountain somehow became a hot spot for remembering failed uprisings, lost independence and how much the Soviet occupiers sucked. After years of conflict with the Russian empire, the family members of fallen soldiers turned the little mound into a sort of memorial to their loved ones. And what do you do when you want to memorialize someone? You plant a cross, of course. Or two or three or four.
After 100,000 crosses and crucifixes, shit can start looking creepy.
"Fuck you guys soo hard." - Count Dracula
Today Kryziu Kalnas is a home to enough religious imagery to resemble the universe's cemetery. And the Soviets didn't help matters when they bulldozed the place twice, guaranteeing the Hill of Crosses will be nice and haunted for all eternity. And every time the Soviets bulldozed, the Lithuanians rebuilt with a holy vengeance. Kryziu Kalnas ultimately became a symbol of enduring Lithuanian Catholicism, in spite of the heavy hand of the Soviets. In fact, in 1993, Pope John Paul II came out and blessed the place.
As if it needed it.
Way down in southern Brazil, about 20 miles west from El Bumfuck Nowhere, there lies the peaceful little town of Candido Godoi, also known as the twin capital of the world. That's not the creepy part.
After all, we have nothing against twins. And that's good, because Candido Godoi is actually nicknamed "The Land of Twins" because of the unnaturally high rate of identical twin births among its inhabitants. What exactly is an "unnaturally high rate"? About 18 times higher than the world average, meaning that one in five pregnant couples in the town are guaranteed a two-for-one deal on their future bundle of joy.
Here's the creepy part:
There is a distinct possibility that all those twins are a direct result of the experimentation of famous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.
That is the theory proposed by Jorge Camarasa, an Argentinean historian and an expert on Nazi war criminal and Auschwitz chief physician Mengele, aka the Angel of Death. Mengele -- a bona fide mad scientist who was fascinated with twins and fled to South America after WWII -- was identified by Camarasa and a few Candido Godoi elders as the mysterious German doctor who appeared in the area around 1963.
He first posed as a vet but soon started offering medical services to the ladies of the predominately German settlement. Soon after that, the bizarre twin births supposedly started.
Looks like someone is having a great birthday party!
Unfortunately science, being the party-pooping nerd that it is, chipped in by claiming that Mengele couldn't have had the means to orchestrate a genetics experiment of these proportions. Whew!
No, according to a group of Brazilian scientists, the unusually high twin birthrate can be easily explained by inbreeding or exposure to toxic waste.
So, take your pick. Either Candido Godoi was an experiment to create a race of perfect Aryan children, performed by a Nazi nicknamed the Angel of Death, or it's "just" a secluded Brazilian town full of identical blonde twins whose hobbies include inbreeding and hanging around toxic waste.
In the 12th century, the Austrian city of Hallstatt faced a serious problem. Like everyone else in the 12th century, they were running out of room to bury their dead, so they came up with a genius solution: They started renting out graves. Bodies over there were only laid to earth for 10 to 15 years, after which time the bones were exhumed, bleached and displayed in the ossuary.
Before your bones were displayed, your family would totally graffiti the shit out of them.
The reason for this eerily beautiful desecration was the obvious lack of any grave to put flowers on or something. On the other hand, it's way harder to explain the desecration that's going on in Capela dos Ossos, a small chapel in Portugal that in addition to cementing human bones in its walls proudly exhibits two full skeletons (one of a small child) suspended on chains.
The best images are the ones that stay with you when you close your eyes.
The chapel was in fact the work of a single 16th-century Franciscan monk who wanted to make his fellow Christians contemplate the transitory nature of life. Nonetheless, we think he was just trying to be dickhead when he wrote the following over the entrance: We bones, lying here bare, are awaiting yours.
Is that skeleton jerking off? Spooky!
But the unquestionable Grand Masters of recycling humans as building materials have to be the Catacombs of Paris. Located in the remains of Paris' stone mines, the Catacombs were established in the 18th century when the sanitary conditions in the capital became too unbearable even by French standards.
To avoid an epidemic, city officials started gathering human remains from various cemeteries and storing them underground, which was actually a wise and understandable decision. Though why they decided to rearrange them in a style that can be only described as Early Temple of Unspeakable Evil is anyone's guess:
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a freelance online journalist and Japanese-English-Polish translator. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's keep this terror train moving with 7 Horrific Boogeymen Used to Scare Kids Around The World and The 5 Most Horrific Ways People Have Tried to Discourage Sex.
And stop by Linkstorm to because we have more stuff there that will make you cry.
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